Putting The Smart in Smart Office

By Madeleine Popp | May 04, 2017

There are some excellent consumer IoT and mobile applications on the market right now. But, when it comes to the enterprise, we aren’t seeing as much variety in product offerings. Don’t be discouraged because we’ve found some IoT devices and mobile applications that can put some smart into your office. They solve what some might consider “simple” problems, but they have the potential to make a world of difference in how efficiently your business runs.

Greet Visitors In Your Office

Envoy is a mobile solution for office lobbies that enables seamless visitor registration. It’s a paperless checkout in which form fields can be managed. You have the ability to customize what form fields you want answered. (Ie. addresses, social media handles, identification numbers, even signatures for NDAs or waivers.) Employees are notified who and when their visitor has arrived. The system can take visitors’ photos and print visitor badges. Envoy’s “visitor-management system” has some competitors but stands apart with its ability to integrate with popular office chat programs like Hipchat and Slack.

A system like this not only eliminates paper, but also repetitive, time-consuming activities, clutter, and errors. Guests feel taken care of immediately without waiting for someone to help them or check them in. Furthermore, visitor information stays organized and employees are notified right away with relevant visitor information.

Stop Double-Booking Conference Rooms

There’s nothing more frustrating than booking a conference room, only to find out when a client arrives, a meeting has already started in that room without your knowledge. This is just one problem a company named Robin is solving. This ingenious solution is powered by beacons and BLE which allows it to recognize people and things. Employees can easily see by room, the booking schedule, who is in the room, what the meeting is about, ending time, etc. They can also enable a feature that auto-unbooks the room if people don’t check in for a meeting thus notifying the office that the room has become available. It can also be integrated with your smart thermometers, lighting, Chromecast and more.

Robin eliminates headaches and frustrations associated with this annoying problem. Frankly, it doesn’t make you look very good when you’re hosting a meeting and you no longer have a room to host it in. Robin solves that and also gives you insights with the “room analytics” feature, which allows you to see things like trends in timing of meetings, meeting length, and room usage. The helpful solution, although fixing a relatively simple problem, helps your office to run more efficiently.

Watch their explainer video here.

Restrict Access to Certain Areas

Are you in a business where security matters? Do you have rooms that should have limited access? Meet Chui, the smart doorbell. This is no ordinary doorbell folks. With facial recognition technology, faces are the new keys. From your phone, you can be notified of who is at the door, video chat with them or even let them in.

Chui has great potential in industries where security is pertinent like nuclear energy, government, aerospace, banks, etc. The doorbell can’t be fooled by holding up a picture as it uses “innovative computer vision techniques to verify it’s not an image”. No information is accessible on a stolen Chui. It can also work in less than optimal lighting conditions and continues to function if the Internet goes out.

Opportunity for More

Envoy, Robin, and Chui stood out to me as some of the top IoT products that had applications for today’s enterprises. However, I was surprised at the lack of solutions available for this market, as it seems to be a huge opportunity. I do believe that will change as “IoT” and “smarter things” gains more clout. Did I miss any products out there that you think have applications in the office? Let us know by tweeting @chaione.
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